This is going to be such a long post, I’m sorry.
Lets go back to a couple of weeks ago where I was feeling so optimistic. I had found a clinic that specialised in Egg Sharing, recommended by some of the lovely ladies on an online forum. By being an Egg Sharer in the UK, most clinics that do this will offer you a free round of IVF in return. Seems like a no brainer right? I’d be giving some eggs to a desperate woman and I’d also be getting what I want as well! Both of our dreams fulfilled! So of course I went straight ahead and booked in my first appointment.
Mr Blondie wasn’t needed for the first appointment so I took the train to London by myself. I was feeling so nervous on the train, I put my head back and shut my eyes, to try and think about anything other than this. Of course, all I could think about was this. I was so desperate for this to work out. I felt like my stomach was going to fall out of my arse at any minute. I looked around at all the people and just thought, I bet they have no idea what I’m on this train going to. A young, blonde girl, maybe off on a shopping trip to Oxford Street? Going to work at a cool personal shopping job in Harrods maybe? Nope. I was going to get some blood sucked out of my veins and a probe stuck up my vagina to have a look at my uterus. Not quite lunch at The Ivy!
I was already running late, I think that’s just in my genes. I got to the clinic at 10.38am, my appointment was at 10.30am. Oops. I rushed up the stairs to the reception desk to where I was greeted by a miserable receptionist. I made my apologies and before I could go any further she asked me abruptly “Sorry, who are you?”, gosh, well I’m the woman that’s come here to give you some damn eggs if I can!
I went into the waiting room where there were quite a few other nervous looking women, some with partners and some not. I kind of felt a bit more relaxed in there. I assume we were all there for similar reasons – we want babies! Although there was a woman in there with a baby already and I just thought, is there anywhere I can go where there won’t be a baby?! Suddenly, my name was called and I was being whisked off to a room by a lovely nurse who was going to stick said probe up my vagina. Of course this means she was carrying out an ultrasound, to check the visual health of my uterus and ovaries and because I’m not pregnant, it has to be an intra-vaginal scan. Yippee!
Everything was going well, as I was reaching the end of my period, my womb lining was very thin as expected, she took numerous screen shots of various positions of my uterus, complimenting me on how healthy everything looked, then she moved onto my ovaries. First up, was my right ovary. I’ve always thought that my right ovary would be some kind of huge egg-wielding beast, considering the amount of pain it causes me around ovulation. It’s been a welcome pain though of course, I thought this meant I was releasing some kind of beasty egg each cycle! Her face dropped a bit, and she “uhhmmmed” and “ahhhed”, I asked what was wrong and she said “You don’t have a lot of follicles here, I’m just going to count.” I started to panic, just a bit. She moved the probe as she counted “One, two, three… four… five.” I didn’t know if that was good or bad, I hadn’t really looked into follicle counts as I’ve been repeatedly told how “fertile” I am because of my age. I asked what this meant and she said “Well, actually for your age this is pretty low. We should be seeing ten or more in this ovary.” She told me not to worry as my left ovary was looking bigger and that could be more positive. So she moved the probe again as she counted “One, two, three, four, five… six.” “Six!!! Come on, where are you all?!” I shouted at my ovaries to myself. So eleven in total. Just eleven follicles. I’m twenty-five years old, where the hell are they all? The nurse was lovely, she told me that my AMH (Anti-mullerian hormone) blood test could show a better result. She was confident for me due to my age, I wasn’t so convinced.
The blood test was pretty nondescript. The nurse doing that echoed what the ultrasound nurse said, that this could show a better result. If it didn’t, I’d be getting a phone call to tell me not to come back for a second appointment because that would mean my levels wouldn’t be good enough to be an Egg Donor, thus rendering this whole thing a bit pointless.
So this was Wednesday, on Friday I caved and called the clinic. I couldn’t wait any longer to see what my bloods said. I was actually feeling fairly confident. For the last two years I have been told “You’re young, there won’t be anything wrong with you!” so that stuck in my mind. I left a message for the IVF nurses to which they called back three agonising hours later. I had a look online at normal AMH levels and I must of been reading the wrong thing. The nurse told me “Your levels have come back as uhmmm, 3.3.” “So that’s normal then?” I replied, presumptively. “Ah, no, actually this is very low for your age.” She replied. I paused for a moment whilst I wrote this disgusting number down on a sheet of paper, and said my goodbyes. I immediately started to well up, realising that all this time I was of the mindset that Mr Blondie’s sperm was the reason we weren’t conceiving, but no, it’s me as well! It’s bloody me! We are both the problem here. I couldn’t believe it. I felt like punching everyone that had ever told me that I was too young to have any problems.
The clinic told me I should expect a call before my appointment that was scheduled for the following Thursday to discuss my results. They may as well not bother, I know what it means. It means I’m not eligible to be an Egg Donor and I won’t be welcomed back. Unless I was a paying customer of course. It doesn’t just mean that though, nope. It means I pretty much have an old set of ovaries, not necessarily bad eggs but barely any follicles to produce these eggs. A forty-five year old woman would likely have the same results as I did.
I feel like I have failed at being a woman. The one thing I should be able to do. It all made sense now as to why I’ve never accidentally fallen pregnant before. I had always been bad at remembering to take my contraceptive pill, yet I’d never had any slip ups at all before I’d met Mr Blondie. My logic is, if I don’t have a lot of follicles then I must not be releasing an egg every cycle? I’ve read contradicting views online but I just don’t get it. Can you imagine if I had waited until I was in my thirties to TTC?! I’d of had no bloody eggs left! 3.3 is so low! It’s supposed to be over 20!
I was so convinced this would be the answer. One free round of IVF that would obviously work because I’m so young (sense the sarcasm there?), then bam a baby! Nope, sorry not this time.
I really wanted to avoid the NHS if I could, but now I find that I’m going to be going back to my GP with all these results clutched in my hand, begging for us to be referred for NHS funded IVF. I cannot wait any longer. My body does not have much longer. If we don’t get going on this, there won’t be any eggs left to collect from my ovaries. IVF will be harder for me now, considering I will need some strong stuff to stimulate my ovaries rather than if I had a great follicle count.
I’m sorry that was so long, I thought it would be best to get it out all in one post, rather than drip feed.
I’m off to update the about me bit on this blog now, I can’t blame Mr Blondie anymore. We really are infertile.
Love & baby dust